Juan Alonso-Rodríguez, Tobacco Pattern 2, 2017 (left) and Romson Bustillo, Naturalize Sanctuary, 2016 (right).
Juan Alonso-Rodríguez, "Tobacco Pattern 2," 2017 (left) and Romson Bustillo, "Naturalize Sanctuary," 2016 (right). COURTESY ARTIST TRUST

Not One, But Two Seattle Artists Received the Conductive Garboil Grant Award This Year: The Conductive Garboil Grant, administered by 4Culture, Artist Trust, and the estate of late artist Su Job, is one of the most unusual grants with one of the most unusual names in the city. It’s $3,000 for an artist with a “connection to Pioneer Square” who pushes the boundaries of art while “engaging audiences outside the aesthetic industrial complex.” And this year, an unusual thing has happened—two artists were selected: artist/activist Juan Alonso-Rodríguez and interdisciplinary artist Romson Regarde Bustillo.

Juan Alonso-Rodríguez in his studio at the Tashiro Kaplin Artist Lofts in Pioneer Square.
Juan Alonso-Rodríguez in his studio at the Tashiro Kaplin Artist Lofts in Pioneer Square. KSENIYA SOVENKO

“Usually awarded to just one artist, both Juan and Romson were selected this year to recognize their history of community activism and mentorship, particularly within regional communities of color” the press release states.

Alonso-Rodriguez, a Cuban-born visual artist, uses his Pioneer Studio space to fundraise for organizations like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. Bustillo, who works in printmaking, painting, and installation, had a studio at the 619 Western Building and was mentored by Job.

TWIST: Seattle Queer Film Festival Is This Weekend: Formerly the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, TWIST’s documentary lineup looks off the hook this year, including docs about queer ghost hunters, legendary butch feminist Jeanne Cordova and writer Armistead Maupin. There are narrative films too, of course. Tickets and more info here.

Who Is She? + “I Saw You” Makes For Good Seattle Gossip: Stranger Music intern Anna Kaplan caught up with the newest Tacochildchastitybirthbelt combination of forces: Seattle supergroup Who Is She?, and they talked about the inspiration for songs off their new album, some of which come from old “I Saw You” ads that were in the Stranger.

You Have About Two Weeks Left to Catch Casino: A Palimpsest at The Frye: The exhibit is multidisciplinary artist Storme Webber’s homage to her indigenous ancestors and heritage, as well as a telling of the hidden stories of gay life in Seattle in the 1960s, through the history of an underground dance hall in Pioneer Square called the Casino.

Jerry Dixon Takes Over as Artistic Director of Village Theatre: Broadway actor and director Jerry Dixon will replace former AD Steve Tomkins, who headed up Issaquah’s musical theater for 25 years. Dixon has directed several big shows at the Village, as well as shows at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center. According to one apparently crowd-sourced list of artistic directors at large theaters, Dixon is now one of three black ADs in the country. 

Richard Chiem Relaunches Book Tonight: Now that the mono-cloud has officially settled in, it’s time to buy tons of books and re-engage with Seattle’s robust literary scene. The best reading this week is happening TONIGHT at 7:00 pm at X Y Z. Local fiction phenom Richard Chiem celebrates the reissue of his collection of stories, You Private Person, along with legendary San Francisco poet Rae Armantrout and Stranger Genius Rebecca Brown.

According to The Stranger’s book critic Rich Smith, the book’s understated humor, incredible imagery, and surreal sentimentality absolutely “do it” for him. Just look at this photo: